Acer is using this week’s CES 2014 to unveil the Iconia A1-830, an entry-level Android tablet that looks and acts more like a mid-range model.
I got some hands-on time with it while at this tradeshow, and have formed some first impressions. A full review will be available soon.
Build and Design
The A1-830 is going to cost $150, but you’d never guess that by looking at it. The white aluminum casing feels very solid, and although the design is hardly cutting-edge the device looks great. It weighs 0.8 lbs., and it is 0.32 in. thick.
The 7.9-inch screen is larger than the one in many rival devices. This has a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, and the display is IPS, which means it looks good from a wide array of angles. That said, its pixel density is only 162ppi, about half of what’s offered by the similarly sized (much much more expensive) Apple iPad mini Retina.
This Iconia tablet is going to include a microSD memory card slot that can add up to 32GB of additional storage. There will also be a 5MP rear camera and a 1.9MP front one.
At the heart of the A1-830 will be a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom “Clover Trail” Z2560 processor, making it a bit unusual in the Android market, as most devices running Google’s operating system use ARM chips. Still, Intel has been making a big push to get its chips into more devices, and ported Android to x86 processors.
The time needed to port the OS is likely the reason it will launch running Android 4.2.1 (Jelly Bean) a slightly dated version. On the other hand, it’s not unusual for tablets in this price range to debut running older versions.
There’s 1GB of RAM, which is decent. And the 16GB of internal storage is typical, perhaps even generous, in a $150 tablet.
Acer promises 8 hours of battery life, something we’ll check when we do an in-depth review of this model.
The sleek appearance and attractive display sets the Acer Iconia A1-830 apart from other similarly-priced Android tablets. Still, it will take a full review to confirm that this device fulfills its early promise.